How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask David Janssen Your Own Question
David Janssen
David Janssen,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4124
Experience:  Veterinarian, owner at West Side Veterinary Clinic
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
David Janssen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

i believe my dog may have something lodged in his throat, because

This answer was rated:

i believe my dog may have something lodged in his throat, because he keeps trying to cough something up, all day. he's eating fine, drinking water, and breathing fine, but the "gagging" is concerning me, and the ER vet clinic won't offer me any advice other than going in. Is there anything you can suggest? We tried running our fingers along the back of this throat, but couldn't feel anything...not that we know what the back of a dogs throat is supposed to feel like.
Hello, I am Dr. Peter a licensed Veterinarian. I would like to help. I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advise. There is no additional charge for information request.

1- How long has this been going on?
2- Any changes in his breathing?
3- Has he been around unfamiliar dogs in the last week or so like a kennel, dog park, etc.?
4- Any pre existing medical conditions?
5- Take a look at his gums and see if they are pink or pale?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it started this morning, his breathing has not changed, no unfamiliar dogs, and his gums are always pink...
How much does he weigh?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What you are describing could be consistent with an upper respiratory infection called "kennel cough." Less likely, it could be secondary to a collapsing trachea, foreign body or even cardiopulmonary disease. Start him on Robitussin DM (cough) 1/2 teaspoon every 6-8 hours; rest him, no running or jumping. Follow up with your family veterinarian.

Hope the above helps, if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them.

Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Foreign body lodged in his throat is the most likely...and what I need to know, hopefully without having to bring him into the ER, is how to potentially dislodge it.

Hello, and thanks for writing in.

I agree with Dr. Peter. While a foreign body lodged in the throat is possible, it's overall very unlikely to be the cause of the type of coughing you are describing. When dogs come in for coughing "like something is stuck in it's throat", I would say 99% of the time, it's due to tracheobronchitis (tracheal irritation or infection), and less likely other causes, including a foreign body. Also, even in off chance that it would actually be a foreign body lodged in the throat, other than sweeping your finger in the back of Bijou's mouth, there really is no way to remove something like that at home. Foreign material lodged in a dog's throat, esophagus, or trachea, typically needs to be removed under sedation, with long instruments, with endoscopy, or with surgery.

So, other than giving the Robitussin, Bijou would need to be examined by a veterinarian to determine the exact cause of the coughing, and especially if foreign material is lodged in Bijou's throat, esophagus, or trachea.


I hope this helps.

Dr. Dave

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you...even though it's really not what I wanted to hear, I feel your explanation, although pretty much the same as Dr. Peter, was more detailed (like the cough of kennel cough sounds like something is stuck in his throat).
Is there a vaccination for kennel cough? And if so, is it good for life? Or an annual requirement?
Also, how long should I keep him on the Robitussin?

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, there is a vaccine for kennel cough. There is an injectable vaccine, and a vaccine that is dribbled in the nostrils. The one that is given in the nostrils is supposed to be a bit more effective. It is usually given once a year. I would keep him on the Robitussin for the next few days (4-5), unless the coughing is worsening in the meantime. If you elect to try the Robitussin (as opposed to having an exam performed), if the coughing is not improved at all over the next few days, he really should be examined at that time for more appropriate treatment.


I hope this is helpful.

Dr. Dave

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Oh definitely...if not better by Monday, I will call his vet. Thank you for your help.

You're very welcome! I hope everything goes very well.


Dr. Dave

David Janssen,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4124
Experience: Veterinarian, owner at West Side Veterinary Clinic
David Janssen and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you